331.30  STOPPING FOR SCHOOL BUS; ACTUATING VISUAL SIGNALS; DISCHARGING CHILDREN.
   (a)   The driver of a vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or child attending a program offered by a head start agency, shall stop at least ten feet from the front or rear of the school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.  It is no defense to a charge under this division that the school bus involved failed to display or be equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign as required by division (b) of this section.
   (b)   Every school bus shall be equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of Ohio R.C. 4511.771 or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, and an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the State Board of Education, which shall be actuated by the driver of the bus whenever but only whenever the bus is stopped or stopping on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by head start agencies.  A school bus driver shall not actuate the visual signals or the stop warning sign in designated school bus loading areas where the bus is entirely off the roadway or at school buildings when children or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities are loading or unloading at curbside or at buildings when children attending programs offered by head start agencies are loading or unloading at curbside.  The visual signals and stop warning sign shall be synchronized or otherwise operated as required by rule of the Board.
   (c)   Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by head start agencies.  The driver of any vehicle overtaking the school bus shall comply with division (a) above.
   (d)   School buses operating on divided highways or on highways with four or more traffic lanes shall receive and discharge all school children, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and children attending programs offered by head start agencies on their residence side of the highway.
   (e)   No school bus driver shall start the driver's bus until after any child, person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or child attending a program offered by a head start agency who may have alighted therefrom has reached a place of safety on the child's or person's residence side of the road.
   (f)   As used in this section:
      (1)   “Head start agency” has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 3301.32.
      (2)   “School bus” as used in relation to children who attend a program offered by a head start agency, means a bus that is owned and operated by a head start agency, is equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the State Board of Education, is painted the color and displays the markings described in Ohio R.C. 4511.77, and is equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of Ohio R.C. 4511.77, irrespective of whether or not the bus has 15 or more children aboard at any time. The term does not include a van owned and operated by a head start agency, irrespective of its color, lights or markings.
(ORC 4511.75)
   (g)   Whoever violates division (a) of this section is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor.
   (h)   Whoever violates division (a) of this section may be fined an amount not to exceed seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750.00).  A person who is issued a citation for a violation of division (a) of this section is not permitted to enter a written plea of guilty and waive his or her right to contest the citation in a trial, but instead must appear in person in the proper court to answer the charge.
   (i)   In addition to and independent of any other penalty provided by law, the court may impose upon an offender who violates this section a class seven suspension of the offender's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license or nonresident operating privilege from the range specified in Ohio R.C. 4510.02(A)(7) and/or a sentence up to 30 days in jail.  When a license is suspended under this section, the court shall cause the offender to deliver the license to the court, and the court or Clerk of the Court immediately shall forward the license to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, together with notice of the court's action.
(Ord. 106-2019.  Passed 10-7-19.)